I’m skipping today’s question– favorite book you own because seriously? I own a lot of books and I love them ALLLLLL. Picking a favorite isn’t happening.
Instead I will yammer about writing and reading. How’s that?
Last week during my luxurious Thanksgiving break, I read three books, which put me a couple of books ahead in the Goodreads Challenge I set for myself. I’m hoping I’ll finish the year over goal, which would be great. I read two books by Hillary Jordan- When She Woke and Mudbound. Both were excellent. I don’t remember the third book… must not have been remarkable. ;)
I am still plugging away on my gift for the Story Exchange. I am on idea #4 now. I mean, at least the ideas keep coming? I’m hoping I have something I can write to the end. Or if it does, that another idea comes to me because… errr. Yeah. It’s due soon!
I think that’s about it from this front. The year is winding down and I’m already thinking about what goals I want to achieve next year.
How about you? Is 2012 knocking on your door already?
Day 21 – Favorite book from your childhood On the Banks of Plum Creek- A Laura Ingalls Wilder Book I probably read this book four or five times one summer, then went to the library and borrowed them all until I made my way through every Little House book.
Day 20 – Favorite romance book I am not really huge on romances. I find them pretty unrealistic and they make me roll my eyes more than anything– and I’m not just talking Harlequin. A romance has to be really good to hold my attention, i.e it has to be more than Bucky and Lucille rolling around in the hay in secret. Probably the only romance author I’ve read is LaVyrle Spencer,author of contemporary and historical romance. She retired from writing in 1997, but before then she published 25 romance novels about much more than romance. Her heroines are not shrinking violets, nor are they shrews. Her male main characters aren’t larger than life or unrealistic. I really love all of her work, but the one book that stands out to me is Forgiving. THIS is the book that made me love historical romance. From Goodreads: Sarah Merritt arrives in Deadwood, Dakota territory, in 1876 with her father’s printing press and two ambitions–to find her sister Addie and to establish a local newspaper. In a town of mining bachelors, Sarah quickly becomes the center of attention in more ways than one, particularly when she knocks heads with marshal Noah Campbell, her soon-to-be romantic interest. Sarah finds Addie working in a local brothel and commences a long struggle to win back her affection and her soul. She writes to Addie’s former fiance, who comes to Deadwood and joins her in pursuing Addie’s salvation, an endeavor which will force them all to confront an ugly secret from the past. This book, from the amazon reviews, seems to have been panned as a B Grade Western drama. I just didn’t see it that way. I loved Sarah and my heart ached for Addie and I rooted for Noah. *shrug* I liked it.
Day 19 – Favorite book turned into a movie Oddly, I am watching it right now. This movie introduced me to John Grisham. It is his debut novel, The Firm, turned into a major motion picture starring Tom Cruise. Of course, the book is better than the film. From Goodreads: Mitchell McDeere, raised in the coal-mining region of rural Kentucky, has worked hard to get where he is: third in his class at Harvard Law. He’s young. He’s bright. He’s ambitious. Mitch could have the pick of the big firms in New York and Chicago, but he’s chosen the Memphis tax firm of Bendini, Lambert & Locke. They’re selective. They pay outrageous salaries. They have a turnover rate of zero. And Mitch is about to find out why.Several events fuel Mitch’s growing suspicions: two of the partners die in a suspicious diving accident off Grand Cayman; the senior partners seem unduly proud of the fact that no one has ever resigned; and security measures at the office are, even for a company with billionaire clients, more than a little extreme. Then Mitch makes an explosive discovery: The firm is owned and operated by the most powerful organized crime family in Chicago. Even as Mitch discovers the truth, he finds himself caught between the FBI, who wants an informant inside the firm, and the firm itself, which will make him a very rich man—or a very dead one.
I skipped yesterday. The ‘favorites’ thing was getting to me. I didn’t have a favorite quote… at least not one that I could wake up from my nap to remember… So we’re on to day 18! Day 18 – A book that disappointed you I am a huge Grisham fan, have read everything he’s written in the legal thriller genre, but I did not like this book. There were several that grew on me about halfway through. This one just never got me. The moment I read about ‘the drug’ and ‘the big case that could win us millions’, it immediately reminded me of King of Torts, which I enjoyed, but I definitely wasn’t going to read it again with different characters. Incredibly disappointed in this book. Still love Grisham though.
Day 16 – Favorite female character Look at me, posting in my blog every day this week! Anyway, ya’ll knew this was coming, right? “I must confess that I think her as delightful a character as ever appeared in print, and how I shall be able to tolerate those who do not like her at least, I do not know”. – Jane Austen Even if Darcy wasn’t my favorite male character, Elizabeth Bennet has been my favorite female character forever. I love her biting wit, high intelligence, and unmatched strength. I love her sharp tongue (I’ve always admired a woman who can cut a person down without being vulgar. I call it the Julia Sugarbaker), her sense of good will, her love for her sisters and family. I love that she wants to marry for love and will settle for nothing less. Most of all, I love that she knows when she is wrong and is about to miss a good thing in Darcy. In this couple, I don’t see butting heads, rather iron sharpening iron. A great match, indeed. They’re my favorite fictional couple. All this talk of Pride and Prejudice makes me want to watch the movie this weekend! I have the 2 DVD set and FOUR DAYS OFF!
Day 15 – Favorite male character I think this one will be kind of obvious… and tomorrow, too. He’s the first character that comes to mind when I think of one I love dearly. Fitzwilliam Darcy is the male protagonist in Jane Austen’s classic “Pride and Prejudice”. I saw the BBC Mini Series before I ever read the novel, so Darcy will forever and always be Colin Firth. Speak nothing of that horrific remake with the most uncharismatic Darcy ever. It’s BBC all the way, baby. I believe what I love about Darcy is that he is the quintessential strong silent type. He is the ultimate gentleman, no matter how rude, terse and tactless. He’s one of those men who may be disliked in public, but in private, treats his lady like a queen. He often sticks his foot in his mouth because he has no concept of what he should/should not say. However he managed to win over such a strong character like Elizabeth by acting on his feelings and showing her how much he cared for her– by taking care of her family. I don’t think another male character has ever been more gruff and aloof but endearing to me. Maybe he is the epitome of wanting what you cannot have. From Goodreads: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s witty comedy of manners–one of the most popular novels of all time–that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues. Renowned literary critic and historian George Saintsbury in 1894 declared it the “most perfect, the most characteristic, the most eminently quintessential of its author’s works,” and Eudora Welty in the twentieth century described it as “irresistible and as nearly flawless as any fiction could be.”
GAH I AM HAVING THE SHAKES. Asking me to pick a favorite is something like cruel and unusual punishment. I swear, I don’t have a favorite! SIGH. Well. I’ll go with an author that I’ve read A LOT of, and that would be Mr John Grisham. My favorite book from his repertoire would have to be The Broker. From GoodReads: In his final hours in the Oval Office, the outgoing President grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six years hidden away in a federal prison. What no one knows is that the President issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure from the CIA. It seems Backman, in his power broker heyday, may have obtained secrets that compromise the world’s most sophisticated satellite surveillance system. Backman is quietly smuggled out of the country in a military cargo plane, given a new name, a new identity, and a new home in Italy. Eventually, after he has settled into his new life, the CIA will leak his whereabouts to the Israelis, the Russians, the Chinese, and the Saudis. Then the CIA will do what it does best: sit back and watch. The question is not whether Backman will survive—there is no chance of that. The question the CIA needs answered is, who will kill him? I had felt like Grisham’s writing was ‘off’ for awhile, but when The Broker came out, I was hooked from page one. It was truly a page turner, deeply suspenseful and entertaining. A 4 star book and rarely give 4 or 5 stars! The other book that I almost picked was The Partner, another very suspenseful read.
Day 13 – Your favorite writer I don’t know. Is that a copout? I could be pretentious here and say Jane Austen, but she’s not really my favorite, LOL. There are a few authors out there that I love and I read nearly everything they publish: John Grisham, Jon Lescroart, Gillian Flynn, and back in the day, I loved LaVyrle Spencer. A favorite writer, though? I’m not really sure I have one. I’ve certainly put down a Grisham if I didn’t like it, skipped a Lescroart if the synopsis doesn’t look like something I want to dive into. I’m more turned on by a story, and even if the author is an unknown, if the story is good, I’ll read it. And then read everything else they’ve written.
I haven’t done this for awhile, but since I am writing a new story over at the archive, I decided to post a snippet for today. The new story is called Schizophrenic. It uncurls a tale of interruption of the idyllic life of a former popstar who still has one ultra devoted fan. Not only is she obsessive, but she is mentally ill and believes that the pop star is talking to her through his music. This scene is from Chapter 1. My main characters have just returned from their anniversary dinner to find something not quite right about the house. They’re in the car, waiting for the police to arrive and check it out. This story is in progress over at the NF Archive.